Saturday, February 25, 2017

March 2017

Renovation Continues: 

Phase II Begins

Just over a year ago we began the mammoth project of renovating our church, beginning with the walls and ceiling in the nave. On February 7th of last year the voters approved the project, and we began the undertaking that included scaffolding, a lift, removal of pews, and hours upon hours of volunteer work, added to the able plaster and painting work of our temporary employee Bob Harrison.
By the grace of God we managed to complete Phase I of the project in time for Oktoberfest. That Sunday morning with great joy we rededicated the nave of our church, a beautiful renewal that just a year prior hardly seemed possible. We did it for the fraction of the cost normally expected for such an undertaking. The fact that we were able seemed nothing short of miraculous, for a congregation so small as ours.
Now, some four months later, we are again excited to have begun Phase II: the balcony.
Volunteers met the organ tuner in the balcony late in January, and the pipes in the southeast corner of the balcony, as well as the large exposed pipes on both sides, were all removed. This was necessary in order for the ceiling repairs and repainting to commence. It was critically important that these pipes be removed properly, so as not to damage them or to let dust or particles fall into the organ works below the holes out of which they were taken. As each pipe was removed, the particles were carefully vacuumed at the same time, as the pipe was being played. This blew air up from the vent while the particles were sucked away. Significant debris had accumulated in the area over years of ceiling deterioration.
The organ is still in use, although some ranks are obviously unavailable.
The day’s project was completed successfully. A few of the pipes had bent or warped over the years, and will be repaired at the shop while the ceiling project is going on.
The next step is the placing of a temporary floor in the area from which the pipes were removed, as further protection and in order to provide a sturdy base on which ladders may be placed for our repairman Bob Harrison to do his work.
As of this printing, this work was to have been completed by about the middle of February, so that Bob can get back to work soon after. We are hopeful that within several weeks his work will be finished.
The careful removal of pipes is not required on the southwest corner, because those pipes are all already encased (permanently) within a box that can be covered to protect them while work is done on the west side of the balcony.
The work of Phase II will continue the painting of the balcony ceiling, including the two remaining panels with gold crosses on them. The old design can still be seen on those two crosses. Phase I included new paint, gold lines and crosses on the other six panels, leaving only those two.
Phase II also includes the painting and repairs of the ceiling and high walls in both staircases.
Sufficient funds have been received for this phase, and we may begin looking ahead to fundraising for Phase III, although a date for the start of that phase has not yet been set. The council discussed the matter and agreed that much planning will be needed.
We continue to struggle, meanwhile, to meet our regular budget needs, and the council is keeping a close eye on that precarious situation.
The Lord has blessed us to this point, as we are well aware, and we are confident that, as daunting as the challenges sometimes seem, we can face them without fear.
Our routine prayer for this church is part of the weekly prayer of the church:

“O Almighty God, who dost always grant grace unto them that call upon Thee, have mercy on us and bless our renovation efforts; grant us Thy grace in all our needs, so that we may be a light and beacon of Thy Gospel in this place in the time to come. Grant us wisdom and confidence to meet the challenges that face us in accordance with Thy good will. Lord, in Thy mercy, hear our prayer.” 

Lenten Disciplines

The season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, March 9th. A number of items are worth remembering and planning for during this holy season, that you may benefit most from it.

First, there is Ash Wednesday itself. Mass is offered twice that day, at 7 am and 7 pm, with the imposition of ashes.

Second, see if you can make an added effort to make it to Wednesday evening mass. The soup suppers (see the nearby article) provide a little extra incentive.

Third, there is the Lenten fast. A marked feature of the fast is that it is voluntary, which is to say that no one imposes this on you. It is you who make the determination to abstain from certain foods, and thereby you also learn to appreciate the wisdom of St. Paul, who said already in the Epistle for Septuagesima, “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection” (I Corinthians 9:27). The reasoning goes that if it’s good enough for Paul, it should be good enough for us. The Lenten fast traditionally has meant abstention from meats and dairy products on Fridays (the day of crucifixion), or on Wednesdays and Fridays, although an older custom was to abstain from meats and dairy products throughout all of Lent (from that custom arose the blessing of the Easter Egg, and the Easter breakfast). Some choose to abstain from all sweets, desserts, and eating between meals.

In addition to the dietary fast, there is the fast of the eyes and ears, particularly noted in worship. Flowers are gone from the chancel, weddings are not scheduled, and alleluias are not sung.

Finally, private confession is an excellent Lenten discipline, and is always encouraged.

Lent is hard. Hard on the schedule, hard on the stomach, hard on the body. It’s supposed to be hard. It’s the learning of spiritual discipline, much like the physical training of an athlete.

Lenten Suppers

Lenten soup suppers are scheduled again, beginning March 8th at 5:30 pm. Join your family of the faithful for this time together. Convenient time too: midweek Lenten masses are soon afterwards, at 7:00.
As in the past, we will not have a soup supper on Ash Wednesday.

Suppers will begin the following week and continue every Wednesday in Lent except for Holy Week.

People can sign up during Sunday morning Bible class. There will be no supper during Holy Week.

This means there will be five weeks of suppers.

Back by popular demand! Mark your calendar.

Q and A Continues
Every Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. our class entitled “Q and A on Jesus and the Bible” continues.

Although people who come are not required to bring their own questions, we have noticed that when people do, it becomes an especially lively and edifying hour.

Give it a whirl, if you have the time.
Easter Breakfast
The Easter breakfast will be held after 7:00 a.m. Sunrise mass on April 16th. Calling all volunteers! If you want to help, provide an egg dish, set tables, or otherwise donate, please speak to or contact Carol Eckardt at 853-7708.

On Holy Saturday, April 15th, volunteers will be needed to set up the tables.
March Anniversary
3/19/1977 Jeff and Diana Shreck
March Ushers
Allan Kraklow, Steve Kraklow, Tom Wells

Altar Guild Notes
· The paraments color for the month of March is VIOLET, except:

· Wednesday, March 22nd we will observe the Annunciation B.V.M., color is WHITE

Next meeting is Tuesday, March 7th.

First Tuesday Vespers, etc.
March 7th, Altar Guild is at 6 pm, Vespers is at 6:45, and Elders is at 7:15, as usual.

March Birthdays:
3/1 Barbra Kraklow
3/2 Joseph Eckardt
3/25 Carol Eckardt

Shut ins
Mary Hamilton at home
Emmy Wear at Williamsfield
Emilie Ricknell at home.

Private Confession and Shrove Tuesday
Private Confession is always available to anyone between 6 and 6:30 pm on these Wednesdays (and also, as always, by appointment). Pastor is usually available as well on Saturdays, from about 4 pm until Mass. On Shrove Tuesday, February 28th, Pastor will make a special point of being available all afternoon (until 5 pm when Q and A class begins) for confession, on this day traditionally intended for this use to prepare for Lent.

From the Catechism:


What is Confession?

Confession has two parts. First, that we confess our sins, and second, that we receive absolution, that is, forgiveness, from the pastor as from God Himself, not doubting, but firmly believing that by it our sins are forgiven before God in heaven.

What sins should we confess?

Before God we should plead guilty of all sins, even those we are not aware of, as we do in the Lord’s Prayer; but before the pastor we should confess only those sins which we know and feel in our hearts.

Which are these?

Consider your place in life according to the Ten Commandments: Are you a father, mother, son, daughter, husband, wife, or worker? Have you been disobedient, unfaithful, or lazy? Have you been hot-tempered, rude, or quarrelsome? Have you hurt someone by your words or deeds? Have you stolen, been negligent, wasted anything, or done any harm?
In Our Prayers 
Our current list of prayer intentions at mass includes the names on the lists here following. Anyone wishing to update the list by addition or subtraction, please inform the pastor.

in our parish:

Tony Fisher, Lucille Kemerling, Denny Schoen, Sandra Verplaetse, Emilie Ricknell, Linda Rowe, Kris Harden, Joyce Long, Mary Hamilton, Emmy Wear, Ryan Van Wassenhove

and also:
Anna Rutowicz [granddaughter of Harrises], Jodi Rutowicz [daughter of Harrises], Julie Ross [Svetlana Meaker’s daughter], Jill Matchett [at request of Diana Shreck], Annie Eastman [at request of Svetlana Meaker], Nancy Popejoy [relative of Sharon Hartz], Dave Colgron [friend of Tom Wells], Shannon Watson [Jim’s daughter], Noah Muske [relative of Kraklows], Steve Draminski [friend of Jim Watson], Kathy Nussear [Joyce Long’s daughter, cancer], Theresa Lewis [niece of Carol Eckardt], Bud Harfst [Sue Murphy’s brother], Pastor Kenneth Wegener, Yvonne Wegener, James Grier [relative of Judy Thompson]

in the military:
John Eckardt, Donny Appleman [at request of the Ricknells], Thomas Kim [at request of the Shrecks], Michael Creech [at request of the Murphys], Katherine Creech [at request of the Murphys], Richard Heiden [at request of the Eckardts], Carter Wills [grandson of the Thompsons], Luke Van Landigan [grandson of Dick Melchin], Jaclyn Alvarez [daughter of Kris Harden], Trevon Wetzel [at request of Kris Harden]

in trouble:
especially any unborn children in danger of abortion; those suffering from unrest, persecution, and imprisonment in Egypt, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Germany, North Korea, and elsewhere.

and our own church

Robin sighting contest continues?
As of the preparation of this newsletter, there was still no robin sighting, though someone reported possibly having heard a robin (which doesn’t count). By the time this newsletter is printed, the contest may be over, but maybe not. Be sure to report the first time and place you see a robin, and you could be the winner (the prize is a lamb on your Jesus chart). Last year’s winner was Judy Thompson who saw one on the 23rd of January; the year before the trophy went to Carol Eckardt, and the year before to Michele Keehner (actually there’s no trophy, it’s just about bragging rights). Have you seen a robin?

The robin, of course, is something we regard very highly because it is a sign of spring; and the approach of spring is also the approach of Easter; and the approach of Easter is enough to cause us abiding joy. So rejoice in the robin, o Christian! And report the date and the place of your first sighting to Pastor, and we’ll announce the winner.

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